87% of Jewish High School Parents Say Rising Antisemitism Since October 7 Is Impacting College Selection, New Hillel Poll Finds



April 3, 2024

Nearly two-thirds of Jewish high school families (64%) have eliminated colleges and universities from consideration due to antisemitism

WASHINGTON – Parents of Jewish high school juniors and seniors applying to colleges and universities are more engaged in the college decision process, more attuned to rising antisemitism, crossing campuses off their lists because of antisemitism, and more insistent on a strong Jewish presence on campus than ever before, a new national poll finds. 

The survey, conducted by Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) on behalf of Hillel International, the world’s largest Jewish campus organization, is the first to measure attitudes of parents of current or soon-to-be college applicants since October 7. Each respondent identified as Jewish and has a child who is a current junior or senior in high school and who is planning to attend a college or university.

Nearly two-thirds of Jewish parents (64%) say that their students have eliminated a school they would have otherwise wanted to attend based on rising antisemitism since October 7. 

The full data, based on surveys with 427 parents between March 13 and March 18, can be found here. The margin of error is 4.74%.

Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, said, “These findings confirm what we’ve consistently heard from Jewish parents since October 7: They are alarmed by the dramatic rise in antisemitism on campus, and they and their students are changing their approach to the college decision-making process because of it.” Lehman continued, “As a result, parents, students and families are turning to Hillel as the most comprehensive and reliable source of information and support for their child, and we remain committed to our work to ensure that all campuses are safe and inclusive options for all Jewish students.” 

Among the findings, nearly all respondents (93%) are closely following the increase of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents on campus since the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel. Hillel International has recorded more than 1,200 antisemitic incidents on campus over that period, a nearly ten-fold increase compared to the same period during the previous school year.

The survey also shows that many families are factoring in campus safety and security far more than prior to October 7 and relying on Hillel, with its more than 1,000 staff members on campuses around the world, as a critical source of information about what Jewish life on campus is like in the current environment. More than three-quarters of respondents listed campus Hillels as a source for information on Jewish life on college campuses, followed by the Hillel College Guide. Campus Hillels and the Hillel College Guide were the two most common sources of information cited, and 93% consider the presence of a Hillel to be important to their family’s college choice.

Key findings include:

Respondents consistently emphasized the central role of Hillel in their child’s college selection process:


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